nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2020‒01‒13
five papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. The Persistent Effects of Brief Interactions: Evidence from Immigrant Ships By Battiston, Diego
  2. Fear Not For Man? Armed conflict and social capital in Mali By Thomas Calvo; Emmanuelle Lavallée; Mireille Razafindrakoto; François Roubaud
  3. Mastering Panel Metrics: Causal Impact of Democracy on Growth By Shuowen Chen; Victor Chernozhukov; Ivan Fernandez-Val
  4. O Brother, Where Start Thou? Sibling-Spillovers in College Enrollment By Joshua S. Goodman; Michael Hurwitz; Christine Mulhern; Jonathan Smith
  5. With whom do firms form ties? A meta-analysis on the influence of embeddedness and proximity on inter-organizational tie formation By van Zelst, Marino; Mannak, Remco; Oerlemans, Leon

  1. By: Battiston, Diego
    Abstract: This paper shows that brief social interactions can have a large impact on economic outcomes when they occur in high-stakes decision contexts. I study this question using a high frequency and detailed geolocalized dataset of matched immigrants-ships from the age of mass migration. Individuals exogenously travelling with (previously unrelated) higher quality shipmates end up being employed in higher quality jobs at destination. Several findings suggest that shipmates provide access and/or information about employment opportunities. Firstly, immigrants' sector of employment and place of residence are affected by those of their shipmates' contacts. Secondly, the baseline effects are stronger for individuals travelling alone and with fewer connections at destination. Thirdly, immigrants are affected more strongly by shipmates who share their language. These findings underline the sizeable effects of even brief social connections, provided that they occur during critical life junctures.
    Keywords: immigration; social interactions; networks, ships
    JEL: J01 J24 J61 N3
    Date: 2018
  2. By: Thomas Calvo (DIAL-LEDa, IRD, Université Paris-Dauphine, PSL Université); Emmanuelle Lavallée (DIAL, LEDa, IRD, Université Paris-Dauphine, Université PSL); Mireille Razafindrakoto (DIAL-LEDa, IRD, Université Paris-Dauphine, PSL Université); François Roubaud (DIAL-LEDa, IRD, Université Paris-Dauphine, PSL Université)
    Abstract: This paper studies the effects of armed conflict on social capital in Mali, where a violent conflict has been raging since 2012. We examine the conflict's impacts on associational membership using event location data and unique survey data on governance, peace and security (GPS-SHaSA). We show that, in conflict-exposed areas, adult involvement in associations increases from 7 to 14 percentage points. Instrumental variable and difference-in-differences strategies complementary mitigate reverse causation and omitted variable biases as estimated results remain very consistent. Robust estimations constrained to non-migrants samples also rule out selection into migration. Yet this result, consistent with the argument that armed conflict cultivates social engagement, is not a positive outcome in the case of Mali. The increase is observed solely for family and political associations, which are comparatively inward-looking and act as interest groups. We interpret this finding as a form of withdrawal behind group or community boundaries, an interpretation supported by further analysis of interpersonal trust. This sort of withdrawal may exacerbate ethnic divisions and deepen the conflict.
    Keywords: Social capital; Con ict; Participation; Trust; Mali.
    JEL: D71 F51 O12 Z13
    Date: 2019–07
  3. By: Shuowen Chen (Institute for Fiscal Studies); Victor Chernozhukov (Institute for Fiscal Studies and MIT); Ivan Fernandez-Val (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Boston University)
    Abstract: The relationship between democracy and economic growth is of long standing interest. We revisit the panel data analysis of this relationship by Acemoglu et al. (forthcoming) using state of the art econometric methods. We argue that this and lots of other panel data settings in economics are in fact high-dimensional, resulting in principal estimators – the ?xed e?ects (FE) and Arellano-Bond (AB) estimators – to be biased to the degree that invalidates statistical inference. We can however remove these biases by using simple analytical and sample-splitting methods, and thereby restore valid statistical inference. We ?nd that the debiased FE and AB estimators produce substantially higher esti-mates of the long-run e?ect of democracy on growth, providing even stronger support for the key hypothesis in Acemoglu et al. (forthcoming). Given the ubiquitous nature of panel data, we conclude that the use of debiased panel data estimators should substantially improve the quality of empirical inference in economics.
    Date: 2019–06–12
  4. By: Joshua S. Goodman; Michael Hurwitz; Christine Mulhern; Jonathan Smith
    Abstract: We study within-family spillovers in college enrollment to show college-going behavior is transmissible between peers. Because siblings’ test scores are weakly correlated, we exploit college-specific admissions thresholds that directly affect older but not younger siblings’ college options. Older siblings’ admissibility substantially increases their own four-year college enrollment rate and quality of college attended. Their improved college choices in turn raise younger siblings’ college enrollment rate and quality of college chosen, particularly for families with low predicted probabilities of college enrollment. Some younger siblings follow their older sibling to the same campus but many upgrade by choosing other colleges. The observed spillovers are not well-explained by price, income, proximity or legacy effects, but are most consistent with older siblings transmitting otherwise unavailable information about the college experience and its potential returns. The importance of such personally salient information may partly explain persistent differences in college-going rates by income, geography and other characteristics that define a community.
    Keywords: college enrollment, peer effects, siblings, admissions, regression discontinuity
    Date: 2019
  5. By: van Zelst, Marino (Tilburg University); Mannak, Remco; Oerlemans, Leon (Tilburg University)
    Abstract: We meta-analyze the influence of various forms of embeddedness and proximity on interorganizational tie formation with a dataset that encompasses 256,529 ties from 73 studies. First, we uncover the unparalleled importance of relational embeddedness, while the influence of structural and positional embeddedness turns out to be highly dependent on the context. Second, we show that various forms of proximity positively influence tie formation and have unique explanatory power in addition to the embeddedness dimensions. Last, we explore to what extent these effects are contingent on the type of tie, resource munificence, status orientation, level of individuality, and intellectual property regimes. Our study introduces a preliminary contingency theory of interorganizational tie formation and provides directions for future research.
    Date: 2017–12–23

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